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BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover Faces Rs 2 Lakh Fine Over Defamatory Social Media Posts

In a recent development, Ashneer Grover, co-founder of BharatPe, has issued a public apology and incurred a fine of Rs 2 lakh imposed by the Delhi High Court for his defamatory posts on social media about the fintech startup.

This incident follows the court’s advisory in January, urging BharatPe and its estranged co-founder to maintain courtesy towards each other despite their fallout. The court specifically cautioned Mr. Grover against making allegedly defamatory statements and called on the counsels for both parties to guide their respective clients accordingly.

The court expressed concern about the impact of social media on the dispute, emphasizing the need for civility in their interactions. “Social media has actually brought us down to this level. What are we doing here? Basically, they should be courteous to each other… You have fallen out, fight your litigation,” remarked the court.

This legal dispute stems from a complaint filed in May 2023 by BharatPe, alleging that Mr. Grover and his family caused damages amounting to Rs 81.3 crore through illegal payments. The company asserted that the damages resulted from fake payments to human resource consultants, forged invoices, illegal payments related to travel, inclusion of non-existent transactions in input tax credit, and payment of penalties to GST authorities.

Adding a layer of complexity to the situation, Mr. Grover’s wife, Madhuri Jain, who was the Joint Director-HR at BharatPe and was terminated last year, was questioned last week by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing in connection with an alleged Rs 81-crore fraud at the fintech startup.

While Madhuri Jain is at the center of the allegations, Mr. Grover, who gained fame as one of the ‘sharks’ on Shark Tank India, resigned as CEO shortly after the fallout. Notably, he was also summoned by the police for questioning but did not appear.

If convicted, the accused individuals could face severe consequences, ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. The case continues to unfold, shedding light on the challenges and complexities surrounding the fintech industry in India.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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